Chapter 27

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I was waiting for the finished video to render and looking at my computer clock blink the numbers 19.05 as my phone lit up. It was Dee. The office was empty except for Jake the night time presenter welcoming 'gay UK' to his show under the glowing red light of the On-Air sign.

'Hey,' I answered, leaning back in my chair.

'I did it!' she announced triumphantly. 'I told Matt where to go!'

I imagined that Dee had me on speaker phone and was holding her arms out while swirling regally and joyously around her room.

'What did he say?'

'That's the thing,' she said. 'He just kind of shrugged.'

'Shrugged?'

'Yeah, shrugged. It was in that moment I realised that he didn't deserve another ounce of my energy. Not one drop. He wasn't even going to give me the courtesy of more than a shoulder movement, so you know what I did?'

'What?'

'I just walked out and didn't even give him break-up sex, the type of sex I'd been looking forward to up until that point. Sucked in Matt. You lose.'

'Now you can move on to someone better,' I reminded her.

'Totally. One day I'm going to meet a man who thinks I'm worth a hell of a lot more than a shrug when shit gets real.'

'You can meet one at the party you're coming to next week with me,' I said with a casual sigh. 'At LDN.'

There was a brief pause on the other side of the phone, followed by a shriek.

'LDN?! How on earth did you get invited to a party at LDN?'

LDN was the type of London nightclub whose entrance was regularly photographed by the paparazzi, always with some drunk A or B list celebrity tumbling out of it.

'Oh, it's just Billy Johnson's birthday bash. I get to bring a guest.'

Dee's squeals pierced my eardrums as I fingered the edges of the plain white invitation next to my keyboard.

'You have to come, lovely!' Sasha had gushed as she air-kissed me goodbye. 'DJ Two-Nought is playing.'

'DJ Two-Nought is playing,' I added for effect, risking the fact that Dee might start hyperventilating. DJ Two-Nought was club chart royalty.

'Get out!'

I laughed. 'There's just one catch. Can I borrow an outfit from you? Something tells me that high street fashion just won't do at LDN.'

'Of course darling,' said Dee, putting on her best Patsy Stone from Ab Fab voice.

'Thank you sweetie darling,' I replied. 'Talk soon, yeah?'

'Bye sweetie, bye,' Dee sang out as Basement Jaxx's 'Red Alert' filled the office. Jake rapped on the pane of the studio window to get my attention and, when I looked up, he pressed his chest up to the window and pumped his fists, a look of exaggerated seriousness on his face. Two could play at that game. I leapt to my feet and prepared to serve him the biggest shoulder shimmy he'd ever witnessed.

****

I came home to the sizzle and steam of Mitch making fajitas with his shirt off. He was humming Nelly's 'Hot in Here' as he browned the chicken. He jumped and spun around when I sang out, 'I am gettin' so hot, I wanna take my clothes off.'

'Hey Beth!' came another voice. It was Rick, appearing from behind the fridge door holding two beer bottles.

To my disappointment, he wasn't topless like Mitch. I replayed the delicious memory of the moment I caught him coming out of the bathroom with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. And of the night I'd tugged his shirt off.

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